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Top Ten

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Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

320 pages, Hardcover

First published October 3, 2017

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About the author

Katie Cotugno

17 books2,129 followers
Katie Cotugno is the New York Times bestselling author of seven messy, complicated feminist YA love stories, as well as the adult novel Birds of California (Harper Perennial, 2022). She is also the co-author, with Candace Bushnell, of Rules for Being a Girl. Her books have been honored by the Junior Library Guild, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, and the Kentucky Association of School Librarians, among others, and translated into more than fifteen languages. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and Argestes, as well as many other literary magazines. She studied Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and received her MFA in Fiction at Lesley University. She lives in Boston with her family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 708 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
September 14, 2017
I've never read a Katie Contugo book before but I was happy to try it out when I received an ARC from the HarperCollins Canada Frenzy Presents event, and it was an enjoyable read! Cute, fun, and refreshing. The ending took me by surprise, but definitely in a pleasant way. I will say though, I had a lot of trouble with connecting to the characters and the storyline I think partially due to the episodic format of the story.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
March 15, 2019
I loved the beginning of this book and I also really appreciated the ending, but everything in between was a god damn MESS. I know that Katie Cotugno's books can be very hit or miss for most, but this was my first book of hers that truly let me down and I am le sad. Womp.
Profile Image for Heather.
403 reviews16.9k followers
December 2, 2017

Overall.. did not like this book a ton. I didn't like either of the characters and also wasn't a fan of the way the story was told.
Profile Image for Nikki.
312 reviews241 followers
September 29, 2017
I received a copy from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not sure how to go about this review because I was confused 80% of the time so I’ll break it down with what I expected vs what I got from this book.

What I expected:

1.A light romance read that will make me feel fuzzy. I wanted a light read that will make me squeal and smile really big whenever I thought about it.
2. Best friend to lovers trope. As much as I prefer hate to love, I found myself anticipating Gabby and Ryan’s friendship blossoming into romance.
3. Seeing each character mature and grow as they transition from high school to college.
5. An accurate depiction of what it’s like to be in a close guy-girl friendship.

These are pretty light expectations, right? So let me tell you what the book actually offered me.

What I got:

1. A confusing timeline. I know this was not written in a linear manner, but holy hell I didn’t expect to thrown around the past and present to the point that I suffered from whiplash.
2. A toxic friendship. A supportive friendship? No. They fight, and fight, and fight, a n d f i g h t. It was so disheartening to see that the author wrote about such a toxic friendship in continuity. I would have appreciated a little bickering here and there, but Gabby and Ryan kept fighting about everything nearly every chapter once we get past a certain point in the book.
3. A bisexual main character! I was totally not expecting this but it was a twist I really liked! The exploration of sexuality was well-written and it was refreshing to see this.
4. True to life situations. As great as it is for best friends to be in love with each other, it’s not the same case when they’re too scared to even tell the other what happened. Unlike other books where both people stay single until they find ~each other~, we see these main characters drift and get into relationships with other people. Again, another point for something refreshing to see.
5. Mental illnesses. To be specific, anxiety. So I’m typing this down maybe as a trigger warning because it is very prominent in the plot. It’s actually an important plot point in the life of one of the main characters.
6. An anti-climactic ending. After the hell they–I–went through while reading the book, I expected a bombastic spectacle of an ending. Unfortunately, it did not deliver.

I wanted to like the book, I really did. However, I can’t deny that my confusion with the timeline coupled with the frustrating characters made this reading experience not as good as I hoped. I’m only giving this 2.5 stars. Definitely not going into my Top Ten Favorite Books.

Top Ten is set to be released on 3 October 2017.

Review originally posted on https://bookallure.com/2017/09/28/top...
Profile Image for Tina.
541 reviews923 followers
September 5, 2017
I won this through a First-Reads Giveaway. I so wanted to like this book. The write-up seemed promising. I hadn't read a YA in awhile and was ready for a light (maybe at times dramatic-love story.) I'm sorry but I did not really feel the "love" in this book. I couldn't get into the characters very much. I did not like Gabby at all and Ryan was just ok. I'm not even sure I'd call this a true "romance." I did not care for the sub plot romances. I did not like the ending at all. No pay-off.

I'm giving this a 2 star rating because the first chapter seemed to capture my attention and there was so much promise with the love story and writing. One of my favourite types of storylines is the best friends turned to lovers...only this did not pan out the way I wanted it to.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,743 reviews1,305 followers
October 3, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

This was a YA contemporary story about two best friends.

Gabby was quite a quiet girl, and she really struggled with her anxiety. Ryan was a lot more outgoing and popular, and I could see why Gabby couldn’t understand why he wanted to hang out with her.

The storyline in this was about Gabby and Ryan being friends, and then being more than friends. The story did jump around a little bit time-wise, which was a little irritating, but overall it was an enjoyable contemporary story.

The ending to this was okay, but it wasn’t really the happily ever after that I was expecting.
6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Sylvie .
686 reviews960 followers
August 3, 2019
3.5 out of 5 stars.

This was my first time reading a Katie Cotugno book. Out of her many books I chose specifically Top Ten, because the synopsis screamed that it would be a friends to lovers trope, which is my all-time favorite. I will always have a soft spot for that.

What I liked:
- I loved how the author focused on Gabby: Her being bi, and having anxiety issues.
Usually, people think that having mental illnesses are bad and makes them weaker than everyone else. That isn't true, at all. Having any kind of a mental disorder should be talked about and is important to be acknowledged as anything else. I personally found Gabby's anxiety and her having panic attacks whenever she was in an unknown crowd very relatable and not unrealistic at all. I think those parts were very well done.
I also loved how casual she was about her sexuality and that her parents didn't make a big issue out of it.
- The very unlikely friendship of Ryan and Gabby. for example: Ryan was one of the few people, who gave Gabby comfort and talked her through an attack and made her feel better afterwards.
- Gabby's family were the best part.
- Neither Ryan nor Gabby were perfect teenagers, despite her having a supportive family or him being super popular at school. They all had their struggles, either there were circumstances at home or health issues.

What I didn't like:
- Confusing timeline, it was constantly jumping back and forth within the four years of Gabby and Ryan's friendship
- Ryan's dad: He was very critical towards his son and his behaviour was very immature.
- There was no character developement in neither protagonists.
- The main characters especially Gabby was constantly questioning her friendship with Ryan, because he was popular/ a hockey player and she's not.

Romance was always present throughout the book, naturally. Gabby and Ryan both explored serious relationships with other people. Although I liked Gabby's relationship with Shay and Ryan's relationship wasn't so bad either with Chelsea, I wanted them to be together, because I can't help it. I can't just read a book that are about friendships between a boy and a girl and not ship them together.

Overall, I enjoyed the story from the very beginning, it's a perfect summer read filled with heartwarming moments and ups and downs of a friendship, but the ending left me a little wanting. It's not my fault that I want all characters I came to love have a HEA together.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
432 reviews1,792 followers
February 8, 2019
Books about best friends in love are my weakness.

Gabby and Ryan's friendship is the real kind everyone wants. They clearly mean the world to each other and I was rooting for them so hard. And then when they didn't end up together my heart shattered.

But I will not give up hope. Maybe they need to be apart to work on themselves before they can be together. That's how I'm choosing to look at the ending.

And I really hope that Katie Cotugno is going to write a sequel WITH A HAPPY ENDING for them. : )
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,226 reviews257 followers
July 3, 2017
Katie Cotugno’s books always have a way of surprising me. She develops these realistic and flawed individuals and we follow them through their daily lives. We see the beauty, tragedy, and monotony of their lives and get to experience it along side them. Top Ten is another solid installment that showcases the importance of friendship, what it means when that friend becomes more, and what happens if it doesn’t work out.

Things I Liked :
There was this overwhelming nostalgic feeling, while being so incredibly realistic, that made reading the story incredibly easy. It was nice looking back and reminiscing about Gabby and Ryan’s friendship with them as we see some of the more pivotal moments of their high school experience.

There were some surprises that I was not expecting. I loved how Gabby and Ryan’s relationship develops. It seems so organic, because we have followed them all this time and come to really know them.

For me the absolute highlight of this book was the friendship in Gabby and Ryan’s relationship is so open and honest. They have one of the most genuine friendship I’ve seen in a long time. You couldn’t help but root for them and wish them all the happiness.

Things I Didn’t Like :
I wasn’t the biggest fan of how time was framed. I really like that the story was bookended, but in between there was a lot of back and forth and could get confusing. Especially with the second-half of the school year coming before the first-half.

Overall this was a really satisfying and unique contemporary. I loved the focus on friendship and it’s importance. And how friendship are just as important as romantic relationship, and can be more meaningful. Gabby and Ryan’s story was beautiful and heartbreaking and loving. I expect nothing less from Katie Cotugno.
Profile Image for Krysti.
364 reviews124 followers
December 19, 2017
I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't connect with it unfortunately. There were too many timelines going on at the same time, and it became very confusing. I felt like because of the constantly shifting timeline, there ended up being some loose threads that were never resolved. The current timeline for Ryan and Gabby also ended up feeling pretty rushed and just not fully fleshed out. I really enjoyed the characters and thought this had a great premise, the style just wasn't for me personally.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,188 reviews1,339 followers
March 27, 2021
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

Top Ten is exactly what is sounds like—a nostalgic recap of a four year friendship told in a top ten list format. This story is realistic and contains two opposite main characters. The non-sequential writing style is inventive, but does get a bit hard to follow. I still enjoyed the story, and it truly is an emotional rollercoaster.

This book recaps the friendship of two teens about to head off to college. It focuses on their top ten moments, some good and some bad, but all of which define their relationship. It is so entertaining watching Gabby and Ryan’s relationship develop and experiencing their best moments along with them. Top Ten has everything—a bisexual main character with anxiety, her friend who plays hockey, and an amazing family. For those looking for a cute and realistic story with representation, I would definitely recommend this one.

Gabby and Ryan are both ideal characters for this story. Gabby is more introverted and suffers with anxiety while Ryan is on the wilder side. They are both so different, but their friendship works out. I really enjoyed how the book actually focuses on their friendship, and there isn’t much romance between them. I personally preferred Gabby’s character, since Ryan’s recklessness got a bit frustrating sometimes, but Ryan also had his moments. The story is told in multiple points of view, so the reader is able to experience both characters equally.

The way Top Ten is written is super unique, but I can see how it can turn some people away. Since the story is told as a top ten list, the plot isn’t chronological. As a reader, I had to be super aware of the year before starting each chapter. For me, it was a bit confusing at first, but I got used to it. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this format, since it is creative, but hard to follow at times. I would have preferred chronological order, but I guess the story wouldn’t be the same.

Top Ten is an original story featuring the top ten moments of a friendship. I enjoyed the main characters’ opposite personalities and how realistic they are. The format of this book is unconventional, which is interesting, but also a bit confusing at times. I still found the book to be enjoyable, and classic Katie Cotugno.
Profile Image for Tanya (Girl Plus Books).
1,027 reviews76 followers
October 4, 2017
I feel like I just lived through four years of the trials and tribulations of high school with Gabby and Ryan. And I mean that in both the best and worst ways possible (because whoever said high school is the best time of your life is a terrible liar). These two characters had me wanting to hug them, wanting to shake some sense into them, and most of all just wanting them to find their way and be happy.

With each chapter visiting a pivotal time in their friendship, Top Ten delves into the ups and downs of Ryan and Gabby’s ever-evolving relationship. On the surface, Ryan, easy-going and popular, and Gabby, anxious and shy, are unlikely friends. But in each other they find someone they can truly be themselves with.

I related to Gabby to a ridiculous degree and it was sometimes almost painful to watch as she tried to navigate her daily life while dealing with varying levels of anxiety. She chafed against being told to “just try” doing the very things that sent her into a panic and yet still sometimes made the effort (usually with disastrous results). From best friend Ryan, to her girlfriend Shay, to her family, Gabby struggled with not being enough for those around her.

Outwardly Ryan was a carefree character who had it all – a gifted hockey player, friends, girls, parties. But Ryan struggled with not only his own insecurities – outside of hockey did he have anything to offer? – but also to please his volatile father whose love and attention felt conditional.

I simply loved the relationship between these two characters. Loved it. Their friendship was the real deal. They were (usually) brutally honest with each other. They called each out. They broke each other’s hearts. They were one another’s touchstone. It wasn’t always smooth sailing – far from it – but when it came down to it, they shared a connection that stood the test of time.

From freshman year to the summer after graduation, through parties and girlfriends, friends and family, Cotugno brings to life two characters who are each other’s Most Important Person – and defines what truly means for Gabby and Ryan.
Profile Image for Gretal.
701 reviews73 followers
November 23, 2017
wow. I really didn't have high expectations for this book, but I just appreciate it so much. I'm so glad I did give this a chance.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,543 reviews234 followers
October 23, 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I really loved this one, but you know, endings.

I really loved this book, and as an homage to Ryan, Gabby, and their lists, I will give my top ten reasons why I loved this book.

1. Ryan, on the surface, appeared to be this happy-go-lucky jock, who was super popular, could have any girl he wanted, and thought life was a great big party. In reality, he felt alone in crowds and yearned for one-on-one interactions, he felt abandoned by his super-critical father, and he spent most of this book pining for the girl he didn't think he could have.

2. Gabby had to struggle every day with her anxiety. She was plagued by panic attacks, and they kept her from letting her true and awesome self shine though. I was beyond elated that she found comfort and solace in Ryan. He was one of the few people, who could talk her through an attack, and he accepted her panic attacks and all.

3. Friendship is the heart of this story, and it was a very beautiful friendship. It had it's ups and downs, and I like that the challenges particular to a female/male friendship were addressed, because they were so realistic. I was just so happy that they found each other, when they really needed that "person" to count on. This friendship may have had a super awkward start, but it blossomed into something really special.

4. Family played a huge role in Gabby and Ryan's lives. Gabby's family was beyond wonderful. I loved playing Monopoly with them and couldn't wait to see what appetizer Dad made from his cookbook. They were open about most things, and the love just enveloped me every time we encountered a full family scene. It was no surprise why Ryan opted to spend his Friday nights with the Harts.

5. Romance was present throughout the book. Gabby and Ryan both explored serious relationships with other people. I won't lie, I was sort of sad that they were sharing experiences with other people and not each other, but I have to say, Cotugno did such a wonderful job with them. They were very special moments and they felt very special to me.

6. So many emotions! I actually have tears streaming down my face as I write this review, because I felt way too much as I read this book. There were so many ups and downs, which happen with long friendships, but there were also a million things that made my heart soar. I am crying, but I am smiling too.

7. Four years. We get to be part of Ryan and Gabby's lives for four years, and I go gaga for books that let me watch the characters change and grow over an extended period of time.

8. I loved the format of this book. Since this is essentially a list of the top ten moments in Gabby and
Ryan's relationship, it skips around chronologically. I liked it, because things would be hinted at, which had not been revealed to us yet. It created a little bit of mystery and made me eager to find out more. The way Cotugno laid out the top ten was not random, they put in an intentional order and each vignette fit logically in its place. It also let me compare and contrast the Gabby and Ryan at different points in time, and I loved making note of all the changes they were experiencing.

9. Post graduation struggle. A lot of books hype graduation as the most marvelous thing ever. Everyone is so excited and ready to move on to bigger and better things, but I do not believe that is how every senior/new graduate feels. It's scary and a huge life change. For some, it entails moving away from the safety of their home and they have to start over from in a new place. I liked that Gabby and Ryan had these fears and shared them with us.

10. This near-perfect story of friendship, family, and love made me so happy. I was totally invested from the very beginning, and although the ending left me a little wanting, I still will sing its praises, because it delivered an incredible reading experience for me.

Read these quotes and feel some feels with me:
"Celia called him the Great Equalizer. He was Gabby's social security blanket, her failsafe against miserable, crippling anxiety; she had no idea what she was going to do without him come fall."

"You're just embarrassed that all the most important moments of your adolescence include me."

"Two months. The thought of it gave Ryan that same uneasy feeling from earlier, like everything was about to change whether he wanted it to or not and he couldn't do one single thing to stop it."

"She was a really good question-asker. She remembered all the weird, random stuff he said. She had an opinion about literally everything.."

"literally no one there would notice if I fell of the face of the earth."
"I'd notice," Ryan said immediately.

"He was homesick, he realized. He was homesick for her."

"but the only person he knew for absolute sure he still wanted to be around after graduation was - Well. Gabby, actually."

"He was her most important person, the one she told things to so that they would be real. So that she would be. HIs friendship was the best thing in her life."

"She missed his loud, stupid laugh. She missed his hands and his mouth and the steadiness of his best friendship but worse than ll that's the undeniable fact that some very important, tethered part of her had shut down when they broke up and now she seemed to be hurtling off through space at a million miles per hour, her oxygen tank rapidly emptying out."

"He was scared too, to be honest: of who he might be now that he wasn't who he'd been planning, of the future and whatever it held. But sitting here with Gabby made him feel like he could handle it. Sitting here with Gabby made him feel weirdly brave."

"This is it," she said, swallowing her heart back down into her chest where it belonged. She wanted to reach into her rib cage and hand it to him for safekeeping, wanted him to know he had it no matter what else happened next.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

Profile Image for catherine ♡.
1,211 reviews160 followers
July 10, 2019
I was actually pleasantly surprised by some things in this book, like LGBT representation and mental health (anxiety), but other than that, the plot of this book was mediocre. The way the story jumped around made the timeline of Gabby and Ryan's relationship hard to follow, and it also felt like their fights were repetitive, always about the same thing.
Profile Image for Alexis  (TheSlothReader).
643 reviews274 followers
October 2, 2017

I think Top Ten was a very interesting introduction to Cotugno. It was told in an episodic format that I personally really enjoyed. It alternates between the four years that the two main characters have been friends. I didn't find it as confusing as others did and personally thought it served the type of story really well.

I also loved some of the topics and diversity that were included in this story. Gabby has severe anxiety and identifies as bisexual. Considering those were two things I can comment on, I felt both were handled really well. Gabby mentions several times feeling anxious about things that shouldn't make her anxious and experiencing panic attacks in places she shouldn't and I found those comments so relatable. I also liked that it was never a big deal to the characters in the story that Gabby was bisexual and had on page romantic and sexual relations with both a woman and a man.

Ryan, the other main character dealt with a lot of other topics, including having an absent parent and also suffering from sports related injuries. I liked both of these storylines for Ryan and found them realistic. I can't comment on sports related injuries, but I can comment on having a parent like Ryan's and I felt it was handled quite well.

All of that being said, I didn't really like Gabby or Ryan, nor did I like their friendship. The have a major fight nearly every chapter and often the arguments were completely handled wrong on both sides. The two characters were so different, and despite that being part of the novel, I never could understand why Gabby and Ryan were friends. I never really wanted to cheer on Gabby or Ryan because I thought they just weren't a good fit for each other.

I did enjoy the ending and how it went in a direction I didn't expect, but appreciated. I'd have enjoyed this book a lot more had Gabby and Ryan not been so rude and unfair to everyone all around them, all the time.
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,289 reviews1,831 followers
October 9, 2017

I received an arc from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. 

Let's start this review off with me saying that I love Katie's works. I adored How to Love, and yes, 99 days was kind of problematic, and I didn't really read her other release from this year, Fireworks, yet but I still hold onto the fact that she will be one of my automatic buys. Have you seen the cover designs of her books? Granted, I shouldn't be purchasing a book based on it's cover art because the graphic designer does not affect the contents of the book but fellow booknerds, we know we're on the same page when we say a prettier cover definitely holds our interest. 

I received this arc maybe five days before the expected publication date and I would have finished this one way sooner if I haven't been so busy simply because the story and writing was addictive. I couldn't put it down for the majority parts of my afternoons after work because I wanted to know the story of Gabby and Ryan, two best friends who seemed to be perfect for each other except for the timing. 

Yes, folks. Top 10, is a love story about two best friends who have feelings for each other throughout their high school life but don't have the courage to admit it to each other and to my annoyance, they are pulled apart because of timing and miscommunication and lack of communication. 

But hey! It won't be an interesting tale without some angst and some adversities to make these two people be apart from each other. 

Let's discuss more about our hero and heroine, Ryan and Gabby. 

Gabby is a bisexual character who suffers anxiety and symptoms of depression. She's basically the poster child of inclusiveness in a young adult novel. I don't mean to sound like a cynic but if you're tired of a cookie cutter character, Gabby is the one for you. For me personally, I loved Gabby for being bisexual and suffering anxiety because these are two very important things we need to address more in popular culture. And I'm not saying, Gabby was a better character because of these two factors. No, no, no, no. I'm just saying it made the story more interesting in a way. For the most part, Gabby was quiet, afraid, and not really a true version of herself unless she was with Ryan. She suffered panic attacks and discomfort in social situations and because of this, it was a major factor in her romantic and unromantic relationships. 

Often at times, for people like me who don't suffer social anxiety disorder, it could be frustrating to see Gabby not take chances. It's like, if I can do it. You can too! And we see this side from other characters like myself. Ryan, Gabby's sisters and peers, etc. But that's not how people function and it's good to be more understanding and sensitive to topics like this.

Ryan, on the other hand, was a complete opposite of Gabby. They're both two types of people. Ryan enjoyed the thrill of a wild night out and thrived being an extrovert. He made friends easily and people just knew him. He was the star of the hockey team, making him basically the most popular boy in school. But he's not a golden boy. He comes from a single parent family so he has the pressure of a coveted hockey scholarship because he knows that the only way he could attend a higher level of education was through that means. And remember how I said he's from a single parent family? Well, his dad was a prick. So filled with pressure from hockey, family issues, and oh yeah, being constantly injured from said sport, Ryan was definitely not perfect. 

And they both weren't. Katie Cotugno made characters with flaws. The conversations they had with each other were real and raw. The things they said meant to cut. Deep. Because it was meant to depict how humans were when they were emotional and hurt by the ones they loved. So yes, Ryan and Gabby said some pretty mean stuff that really made my gut churn because why can't these two lovebirds just love each other but real life isn't like that and I applaud Katie for writing these compelling dialogues. 

Okay, so now that we're done discussing the characters. It's time for me to discuss the little things that irked me. This book was written under two categories: Gabby and Ryan's.  It really didn't need to be separated like this because most of the time, it wasn't told through the respective perspectives and it wasn't like during Gabby's time, it was majorly focusing on her thoughts or feelings. I felt like there was really no difference. 

The second thing that irked me was that this story isn't told from beginning, middle, end. It started with the end, and kind of went to the beginning, and worked it's way backwards till you get to present day end? So it was super confusing to say. Like you were watching things on rewind and the thing is that if you paused to read the book like I did, you would be super confused for at least a good ten pages before you remembered that this story is not linear. It was interesting. I remember I enjoyed this art of story-telling because I was just so invested in knowing how Gabby and Ryan fell in love but it got unnecessary and freaking confusing when parts didn't follow the structure anymore towards the end. UGH. 

Okay, and now moving onto the plot. It really hurts me to say this but it was like watching a car speeding through the race tracks and then watching it burn. I cannot stress this enough because this review is already super-freakin long but the ending. Man. Honestly, it burned so fast and I tried holding onto it, believing that maybe Katie didn't mean to do this and she'll fix it by the end but dear readers, the ending. It was underwhelming, messy, and disappointing. 

I'm not going to spoil it for dear readers but if you want to know what's happening, just message me and I'll let you know. 


The book was a solid 5/5 when I first started reading it. It was captivating, interesting, and the romance was impeccable. I suggest to read this book with caution and knowing that the ending may be a bit disappointing but. The journey is more important then the destination right? 

Right, guys?
Profile Image for Deimaris ☾.
206 reviews35 followers
August 21, 2017
*An arc of this book was sent to me by the publisher HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

Top Ten is a book set out to release on October 3, 2017. It follows the story of Ryan and Gabby, two very different best friends that at certain points of their friendship spark up feelings for each other. These two make a list of the Top ten moments of their relationship based on their four years at high school, changing from dual points of view and guiding us through their past and present.

Sadly, I did not finish it mid way through. I really wanted to like this book but I was highly disappointed. I did not care for the characters at all, they were boring, their conversations were bland, and I just didn't like them. The story intrigued me but never really pulled me in or made me care for it. The plot was okay, I felt bored by it at least 90% of the time, I had to push myself to read it and I did not enjoy it what so ever. The writing style didn't speak out to me either and I really couldn't pull myself to do it, I felt miserable reading it. Don't know if I'll ever pick it up again, I know many other people will love it but this just wasn't my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Bárbara.
1,143 reviews70 followers
February 16, 2018
DNF @ 43%

I just can't. I'm too bored, and I'm getting too old to pull through things I'm not really feeling. Moving on.
Profile Image for Ava.
266 reviews311 followers
August 6, 2017
This is a case of "it's not you, it's me", because this just wasn't a "me" book - but I do recommend it for the following reasons:

- bi protagonist with anxiety!
- cute contemporary story
- accurate representation of high school
- the! best! family!
- focus on sports (hockey)
- unique method of storytelling (dual point of view, told throughout four years of high school)
- very fast read

Why did I not like it? Let's see.

- I had no love for either of the main characters, or any of the characters, for that matter
- I wasn't a fan of the writing style
- there was nothing about it that stood out to me as special, and nothing I loved about it

If it appeals to you, GO READ TOP TEN. It didn't work for me, but it might for you.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,020 followers
September 28, 2017
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I read this book in one day. In fact, I kept reading chapters on my phone every chance I got, because it was so good. So let us discuss!

The Things I Loved:

Such a realistic portrayal of how different people anticipate the college situation. So many books present characters who all just want college to come ASAP, there's no worry about it, it's all positive. But hi, that isn't life. I was freaking terrified about college. So it's nice to see that portrayed so realistically in a main character.
Also a realistic portrayal of anxiety. I could absolutely relate to some of Gabby's anxieties, and even those that I couldn't relate to seemed very well portrayed.
Sex positive. I... don't think this requires an explanation? But also, Gabby is bisexual and sex is handled positively across the board.
Family is a big focus. Gabby's family especially was so awesome. And the great thing is, her family's closeness wasn't something to be made fun of; Ryan liked their closeness too and wanted to be a part of it.
I shipped the thing so damn much. I just adore the friends-to-lovers trope, okay? And they were just so damn cute together. As friends, certainly, and I wanted it to be more too.
The timeline jumping format really worked for me. This probably isn't true for everyone, but I loved that the story jumped around from time to time while still feeling very cohesive to me. Not all books can or should pull this off, but it really worked for this book.
I just flat out loved the story. The characters were relatable, I enjoyed seeing the important, stand out moments of their high school lives, and I loved reading with the knowledge that soon they'd be moving on to their next life adventures.

The only downside:

I wanted a little more from the ending.  I'm starting to think that's just how the author rolls, but it's still difficult for me as a reader.

Bottom Line: I loved the concept of looking back on high school highs and lows, and I adored the characters' stories, both as their own people and their friendship together.

*Copy provided for review
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews771 followers
September 30, 2017
I had such high hopes for Top Ten, seeing as I’d enjoyed Cotugno’s previous books, but sadly Top Ten was such a disappointing read for me. The beginning of the book I actually enjoyed, best friends Ryan and Gabby find themselves over their heads one night, I don’t want to say too much and give it away, but the way things ended, I wanted to know what would happen next, as both Ryan and Gabby would be headed off to college, and with them being friends for so long, would their friendship be able to survive. But instead of continuing off from where things left off, Cotugno decided to give us alternate chapters over the course of the book, and I found this really confusing, the chapters were titled with which year they were focusing on, but the constant back and forth over the years of their friendship I didn’t like at all, I just wanted to find out what was going to happen after that one night. Unfortunately, Ryan and Gabby weren’t characters who kept me wanting to read this book either, I liked Gabby slightly more than Ryan, but I prefer characters which leave lasting impressions and this wasn’t the case with Ryan or Gabby.
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,870 reviews694 followers
May 19, 2020
Going into this, I had no real expectations. But I was pleasantly surprised right away! This is a solid contemporary, that's mostly cute but does deal with some real issues.

I really liked how this is structured as a slice-of-life kind of story. I found it somewhat comparable to One Day in that sense, but instead of focusing on one specific day, it focuses on ten of the most important moments/periods in Gabby and Ryan's friendship.

I wasn't expecting to find anxiety rep, and I haven't read many books where anxiety was so prevalent in the story. This was sometimes hard to read, because the side characters were sometimes ableist (as if anxiety is something you have control over), and there was quite a lot of internalized ableism as well. But overall, I did think it was handled well enough, and I really appreciate that the story paid so much attention to it without actually trying to "cure" it.

Rep: bisexual MC, lesbian side character

CWs: anxiety, anxiety attacks and panic attacks; (internalized) ableism; hospital; concussion; vomiting; emotional abuse and gaslighting
Profile Image for Meghan.
561 reviews66 followers
January 8, 2018
Let's talk about how amazing Top Ten was shall we? I loved 99 days by Cotugno so I was really looking forward to reading another book by her, I was not disappointed at all with Top Ten! I got this book from the library and I fully intend on buying my own copy of it, that's how much I loved this book. I loved the characters, the way Cotugno told the story, the choices she made for both Ryan and Gabby in the novel, I loved every second of this book so much so that I didn't want it to end!

Longer review coming soon! :)
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
619 reviews77 followers
May 9, 2019
The most unlikely of best friends.

Gabby and Ryan have no business being best friends. Gabby is quiet, anxious, an introvert to the max. Ryan is outgoing, goes for what and who he wants and usually gets it. So when they meet at a party, they never expect to come to mean as much as they do to each other.

Now facing graduation, feelings emerge. Will their relationship be able to stand up to the challenge of time?

Katie Cotugno books are either hits or misses. Fortunately Top Ten was a hit.

Character-driven, Top Ten is told from both the perspectives of Gabby and Ryan.

I found Gabby to be extremely relatable. The horrible anxiety she goes through was all too reminiscent of my own. I also love the way Gabby was able to be herself and be free with her bisexuality. It was not the defining trait of her though. She's also able to stand up for herself and she does what she feels is right.

Ryan was the epitome of every sports player character ever read about. However I did enjoy reading about his life and all his struggles. He didn't seem care very much about his health and that bothered me a bit.

Where other books has struggled to pull off the trope of love and hate, Top Ten did it well. Through all their fighting it was possible to see that Ryan and Gabby were there for each other to the end of time, but also extremely toxic for each other.

The juxtaposition of their two families was also something of an interesting contrast. Gabby came from a loving and caring family, where Ryan had an awful father figure.

Something I also loved about Top Ten was that Gabby and Ryan weren't constantly just sitting there pining for each other. They went out and were able to experience real and complicated relationships with other people.

Time is not exactly linear in this story. While confusing at different points it wasn't really a deterrent.

One thing I'm not really sure about is why the book was called Top Ten. Yes the Top Ten lists came into play during the story, but they didn't seem to be a critical part of the story.

I think this book could have been a few pages shorter. The ending seemed unnecessarily long. It seemed like a big argument at the end was used to just draw out the story.

Top Ten was a fun contemporary a lot of real life issues.
Profile Image for Amy.
502 reviews77 followers
December 8, 2017
Its a solid contemporary. I was a little disappointed with the ending.

I get that friendships are important! I really do! And in real life, I love the idea of a boy and girl being best friends with no sexual tension. But I am a sap of a garbage person and in my books I want people to end up together happily ever after.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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